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GOBEL Best Practice Blog: Mining data for prospects in your backyard

In healthcare philanthropy, we’re always looking for the next big prospect. That typically means seeking new names identified via patient screenings, physician referrals, event attendees, etc. But are you fully activating the donors already in your universe to their fullest potential? As you head toward end-of-year giving, consider deploying these tactics to source names already in your database.

  1. Scour the gift report. Are you screening every donor that gives to your organization, regardless of gift size? Are unknown major-level donors making annual-level gifts? Look at total giving figures – have those smaller donations over the years added up to more than five figures overall for a donor? Look for leaps in giving level. If a $50 first gift leads to a $100 second gift, to a $250 third gift, that’s a conversation waiting to happen.
  2. Examine portfolios for “forgotten” leads. Despite best efforts, major-gift portfolios are often homes to prospects that, for whatever reason, simply aren’t being worked. Who on your team is examining prospects with no movement in 6 months, 12 months, or more? Is there a plan – and timeline — to either activate these potential donors, or cut bait? Is there a different service line or area of the foundation that may have the bandwidth to work them? (Be sure to get frontline leadership buy-in before diving into anyone else’s portfolio.)
  3. Are there unicorns in your midst? When is the last time you pulled your entire database for anyone with a principal-gift-level rating? Are all those prospects assigned? Sometimes things fall through the cracks, especially with staff turnover. Are some of those sky-high ratings inaccurate? Make sure to amend them. And have you examined low-rated prospects in high-net-worth geographic areas that screen exceptionally poorly (or who receive no rating at all)? The mega wealthy often rate low in screenings.

With economic uncertainty on the horizon, now is the time for a philanthropic tune-up. GOBEL can provide strategic guidance, best practices, and cutting-edge technology solutions. Visit to find out how we can help, and sign up for the daily GOBEL Research Digest for more tips.